The thing that scares me about vouchers is that I don't think it would take too long before there would be regulations deciding what a school must provide in order to be voucher worthy (or tax credit worthy) from that it's not too much to assume that those regulations would be more and more onerous.
Well, my point is there are already regulations deciding what a school must provide in order to be considered "school" (licensed, accredited, etc.) and those regulations are already slowly becoming more and more onerous as the laws slowly accumulate. In my state there are regulations concerning record keeping, length of the school day & year, and curriculum(!). There's even a regulation that requires approval of the private school's curriculum by the local school board which the law says must be "substantially equal to" that of the public school, which is sometimes interpreted much more like "what I think you should be doing instead" (at least in the homeschool cases I'm more familiar with)
What about homeschooling, would that be covered too?
I don't see why not. "Educational expenses" could be tuition or it could be textbooks & lab materials.
And if some sort of vouchers are offered the government schools will be pressured to compete which private schools, which sounds good, except for the fact that the way government competes is through force: by making voucher paid education as bad as public school education.
Granted, and I think this is your strongest argument, the "perfect" policy can't get enacted because of political opposition that screws it up worse than it was before. One truth that is always forgotten by policy wonks is that policy is inseparable from politics. You *can't* build your perfect system because other political players and interests are going to try to build *their* perfect system at cross purposes to yours. To various other policy wonks and academics "perfect" is the system /they/ designed, to politicians its the one they control and can both take credit for but also aren't responsible for if it fails, to parents the *perfect* system will all too often be the one that babysits their children so they have time to pursue their own interests, the union's vision of "perfect" is going to involve a cushy sinecure. Education and the well-being of children will often by a secondary concern to any or all these groups as they seek to influence policy to achieve their own desired result. Sure, they all *think* quite sincerely that the system that best address their concerns ALSO by felicitous happenstance perfectly coincides with what's best for the kids. But that is generally just a self-serving delusion. For instance, there's research that suggests that starting institutional schooling at the youngest ages is actually detrimental in the long run & that starting formal education later than we currently do produces the optimal result (as far as actual education is concerned). BUT, we'll continue pushing younger and younger kids into institutional education under the pretense that it's for their benefit when the more obvious beneficiaries are parents (who get free daycare) and to teachers (who get more jobs).
Of course we already have such a system, a one-size-fits-all monopoly designed by a committee for whom education was often not even a secondary concern after everyone else's REAL primary concerns were addressed (though it got ALL the lip service).